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SP6: Hunter Etheridge
SP6: Hunter Etheridge
In partnership with the Newsplex, we're bringing you the second annual edition of the Scrimmage Play Six, a series that highlights six of the area's top prep quarterbacks. We start with Woodberry Forest quarterback Hunter Etheridge.
Hunter Etheridge actually wasn’t even the best-known quarterback on his own team in 2012. While Woodberry Forest’s Jacob Rainey, understandably garnered the bulk of the spotlight for his incredible return to the field after a lower leg amputation, Etheridge quietly handled the bulk of the duties as the Tigers’ main signal-caller.
It’s hard to argue with his quiet set of results too. Etheridge, in his first year at Woodberry, completed more than 60 percent of his passes and threw 11 touchdowns to just four interceptions. He grew and matured as the year wore on, and the Tigers’ coaching staff seemed to gain more confidence in him late in the season. He finished the year with 1,086 passing yards and another 323 yards and four touchdowns on the ground while he lead the Tigers to a 5-1 record over the second half of the year.
Only a two-interception, 49-yard hiccup against a powerful Fork Union squad really marred the year. He even engineered one of the finest comebacks in Woodberry’s long football history in just his second game, the 43-33 win over Blair Academy where he threw for 244 yards and three touchdowns.
This year though, things have the potential to get even better for the senior quarterback. He’s been a regular on the camp circuit, with one-day appearances at several schools including Liberty, James Madison, Richmond and UVa.
“I’ve been going to a lot of camps trying to get my name out there for colleges and get some exposure,” Etheridge said. “I feel like if I have a good season this year, everything will end up how it should. All you have to do is play football. You just have to have fun out there.”
He’ll get some help from a fleet of pass catchers set to return including running back/wideout Christian Asher, wideout Nathan Ingram and Brandon Walker among others. The Tigers’ top two rushers are also back in H.T. Minor and James Hewell and a couple of key linemen, Andrew Shofner and Spencer Bibb (who should also see time at fullback), are back in the mix. Not to mention a defense anchored by Notre Dame commitment Greer Martini.
“We’re bringing a lot of guys back, I think we should have a decent season,” Etheridge said. “But we’ve got a tough schedule so we better come ready to play every single game.”
With an experienced trigger-man behind center and the rest of the Tigers’ leadership core, that shouldn’t be much of a problem.